Trending: An Unconventional Guide for Higher Education
Having trouble creating a solid following on your higher education school’s blog? Even when you’re pouring your heart and soul into each and every post? It can be more than a bit discouraging, to say the least. But it might not be your—or the content’s—fault. Rather, it might be the topic that is lacking the means to engage your audience. Change that by staying atop the latest and greatest in trending topics.
Study tips, updates, features, campus events… These types of posts are commonplace among higher education blogs, and should certainly be mixed into your content schedule. But if you don’t deviate from those types of posts, you’re missing your chance. You’re missing the opportunity to engage your audience. Blogging exists partly to show that your school isn’t stale; regular blogging demonstrates your school is growing, evolving as time goes on, and staying current with the times.
So why ignore the outside world and focus solely on your school? There’s an entire world out there, and the odds are that your audience is vastly more familiar with most everything else other than your school. Take the leap and extend your wheelhouse of writing topics into that of what’s fresh. Keeping an eye on trending topics are a way to make that happen. Every day, thousands of news stories and events are readily available to us, giving us a much broader approach to how we blog. Sit tight and relax as we drop some knowledge on how best to incorporate the goings-on of the world into blogs that enrapture your audience and leave your school’s name on the tip of their tongue.
“Cherry Pick” Trending Topics
There are a lot of news and conversation happening on any given day. At home, work, online. But almost all of it—roughly 99%—isn’t going to be useful to you. But that’s a good thing. Otherwise we’d all just be so inundated with a metric boatload of things to talk about. It’s better that there’s only a few things that strike your fancy. So cherry pick the topics that are important to your school, and to the audience you want to attract.
If It’s Not Relevant, Make It Relevant
This one kind of flies in the face of the previous tip, admittedly, but it’s more than doable. In fact, seemingly unrelated trending news makes for some the best (and most interesting) blogs around. Pick a hot topic and bend it to your will. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to extract the bits of a news story that are relevant to what you want to say. Not only that, but this method of coming up with blog topics can make for some pretty darn interesting titles.
Get a New Perspective
With entities as large as colleges and universities, it’s often the goal to maintain a uniform voice that appropriately represents the school. But these schools are made up of thousands of individuals who all have something to say. Take advantage of this opportunity to let them speak their mind. Find intelligent, passionate members of your school (professors, students, employees, almost anyone) and ask if they’d be interesting in writing a featured guest blog. Ask them if they’d consider writing about the school’s current news, events, changes, etc.The chances are pretty good that you’ll find a someone to agree. What’s even better is that your school’s blog will be the recipient of a brand spankin’ new article, and you won’t have to lift a finger. The goal here is to not to be so rigid, to hand over the reigns of your school’s voice (temporarily) to another qualified individual.
Explore the Twitterverse
“Twitter, really? Isn’t that for finding out what your favorite celebrity ate for lunch?” Well, yeah, that too, but hear us out. Twitter is quite possibly the social network that best mimics our day-to-day interactions with other people. But it’s accessible at a moment’s notice and lets you see what 554,750,000 people are talking about, all in real time. It’s a virtual goldmine of ideas for blog topics. In addition to checking your Twitter feed, check out HashTags.org or TrendsMap to see what topics are trending across the country and the globe.
Staying current with trending topics is one of the best ways to revitalize your blog. News is being created all around us, reminding us that—as much as we might like to think so—we’re not the center of the world. There’s an infinite number of things that can happen on any given day, but the point is to latch onto the top stories that you can turn to your advantage.
As much as skill plays a part in the writing process, there’s something to be said for the moment a spark is lit in your mind. Trending topics are just the beginning, the kindling whose role it is to ignite the fire of creativity. Use them as a means to step outside your comfort zone and write about things that don’t immediately strike the reader as being all about your school. Do that and you might just walk away with a few more readers than you started with, and a lot more credibility to boot.